America’s energy boom: To be, or not to be?

posted at 2:31 pm on December 8, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

I’ve spent a good bit of time pondering this since the election, and it’s definitely going to be, er — interesting? — to see where President Obama decides to take us with the wildly promising possibilities of our energy-production future.

On the one hand, it’s going to start getting real uncomfortable, real quick when his continued big-government policymaking somehow miraculously fails to whip the economy into shape, and the four years that for some reason weren’t enough to “get the job done” start to melt into eight. The Energy Information Administration released part of their annual energy outlook this week, and despite all of the greenie gloom-and-doom naysayers, our energy future is dazzlingly bright. We have oil and gas reserves available in remarkable abundance, and employment in these industries is the highest it’s been since 1988:

Since Fracking began opening up “tight” oil deposits in North Dakota’ Bakken Shale in 2005, domestic oil production has reversed a decline that began in the 1970s… Imports also fell below 40 percent in October for the time since 1992. But most encouraging has been the rise in employment in the oil and gas industry. An average of 70 new jobs per day has been added over the last two years, bringing total employment to 195,000, the highest level since 1988.

Currently the oil-and-gas sectors are going gangbusters, not because of Obama, but in spite of him. Much of the development that’s occurred in the past few years has gone down on state and private land, while Interior, et al continue with their meager, “you will take what we give you, and you will like it” permitting pace. If the federal government would speed up and expand their permitting allowances, we could see even more economic growth and development. The kind of jobs, wealth, and revenue that would come from such a boom would go a very long way in covering up the terribleness of Obama’s many other policy shortcomings.

On the other hand, President Obama is very much beholden to the interests of the Left: The globalists, the climate radicals, the green lobbies, and even the casually uninformed-but-oh-so-hip eco-trendy young folk that make up so much of his base. Joel Kotkin breaks it down:

The ideological stakes for the green movement are tremendous. Greatly expanded American fossil-fuel production violates the “peak oil” mantra that has underpinned environmental thinking for decades and undermines some of the core rationale for subsidizing expensive renewables such as solar and wind.

Geography also may play a major role here. Outside of Colorado, the industrial Midwest, and western Pennsylvania, where the shale boom is widely seen as boosting local economies, the vast majority of energy-producing states tilt strongly to the GOP. In contrast, Obama’s strongest support comes from green-oriented coastal residents whose familiarity with energy production starts and ends with turning on a light or switching on an iPad.

Obama’s financial base—in contrast to that enjoyed by the Republicans—relies little on the energy industry. The president’s corporate support comes largely from the entertainment, media, and software industries. Many of Obama’s strongest business backers, particularly in Silicon Valley, have become entangled financially with “renewable energy” schemes, many of which can only survive with massive subsidies in the form of tax credits, loans, and surcharges on energy consumers.

It’ll be a difficult decision to make — the green lobby is particularly well-monied and influential, and then there are the pushy eco-radicals like the ones who just spent two weeks at a United Nations conference trying to convince developed countries to quixotically move backwards into self-inflicted poverty. President Obama at least understands, however, that Americans generally don’t take too well to “necessarily skyrocketing energy prices,” which is why his campaign-self repeatedly tried to take credit for the energy boom currently going on while at the same time touting an “all of the above” plan that included renewables — heck, it’s the best of both worlds, right? But now, he’s going to have to start choosing: Strangle out hydrocarbon energies via regulation and pour more money into the green-energy black hole, or step back and allow the efficiency and innovation of the private sector to take it away?


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On the one hand, it’s going to start getting real uncomfortable, real quick when his continued big-government policymaking somehow miraculously fails to whip the economy into shape, and the four years that for some reason weren’t enough to “get the job done” start to melt into eight.

Exhibit A:

Despite Tax Increase, California State Revenues in Freefall
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/07/CALIFORNIA-STATE-BUDGET-GOES-OFF-THE-CLIFF

California State Controller John Chiang has announced that total state revenue for the month of November 2012 fell $806.8 million, or 10.8%, below budget.

Democrats thought they could hammer “the rich” by convincing voters to pass Proposition 30 to create the highest state income tax in the nation. But it now appears that high income earners have already “voted with their feet” by moving themselves and their businesses out of state, resulting in over $1 billion shortfall in corporate and income taxes last month and the beginning of a new financial crisis.

But where is the Fantastic recovery he promised?

It’s been 4 Loonnng years….. where is it?

Galt2009 on December 8, 2012 at 2:35 PM

On the one hand, it’s going to start getting real uncomfortable, real quick when his continued big-government policymaking somehow miraculously fails to whip the economy into shape, and the four years that for some reason weren’t enough to “get the job done” start to melt into eight.

Erika, he wants the economy to fail. He’s a Marxist. His goal is a Marxist country. He wants to be the first to make Marxism work.

Trying to make sense of what he does by any other interpretive paradigm will not work.

davidk on December 8, 2012 at 2:37 PM

But where is the Fantastic recovery he promised?

It will come about as fast as bho’s krap he is wanting! Just keep it up raising taxes, regulations, and all needed to have a business, and see said businesses go overseas where they are better off!
L

letget on December 8, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Galt2009 on December 8, 2012 at 2:35 PM

And no amount of discussion before hand – pointing to historical evidence – that this is *exactly* what would happen can dissuade them, ‘true believers’ as liberals are.

NY saw the same thing with their millionaire tax – “hey, where’d all the millionaires go, and why is this generating *less* revenue from ‘the rich’ than we were getting before?”

Midas on December 8, 2012 at 2:41 PM

The Feds are being stingy with their energy reserves because it’s collateral to purchasers of our debt.

Would you buy a bond backed by nothing but the the ‘full faith and credit’ of BHO?

old school on December 8, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Erika, he wants the economy to fail. He’s a Marxist. His goal is a Marxist country. He wants to be the first to make Marxism work.

Trying to make sense of what he does by any other interpretive paradigm will not work.

davidk on December 8, 2012 at 2:37 PM

So, I don’t think Obama consciously subscribes to apocalyptic Marxism. He’s more of the useful idiot type that faithfully believes that the bigger the government gets, the better off everyone will do. He thinks he driving a slow socialization of the country will lead to a better world, and refuses to see that he is calcifying the economy and prolonging this Depression.

Count to 10 on December 8, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Trying to make sense of what he does by any other interpretive paradigm will not work.

davidk on December 8, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Yep. It’s like looking at an ideology that would sacrifice the lives of its members, its children, etc and trying to understand it through the prism of our own perspective. This is why so many people/countries don’t take the Islamic terrorism problem seriously, push for Palestinian statehood, etc.

I’m not equating libs with terrorists… no, I guess I’m not – and yet it’s the same sort of paradigm/perspective problem. We keep expecting them to *think* and *behave* the way we’d expect pro-American, common sense citizens to think and behave – they simply *dont* think and behave that way, and *won’t*, and the sooner we figure out that they never will, the better we’ll be able to deal with them.

We keep showing up to the discussion with reason, and they show up with clubs and beat the crap out of us, while we protest “hey, I thought we were going to talk this over”. And while they walk off chuckling, we look at each other and start talking about… which points of reason we’re going to bring to the next discussion, fully expecting that *next* time, *they* will come to ‘talk’, too. Rinse/repeat.

Midas on December 8, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Count to 10 on December 8, 2012 at 2:47 PM

You give him too much benefit of the doubt – and with all evidence to the contrary.

Midas on December 8, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Not to be. Energy boom not in sync with UN Agenda 21.

They’ll wait a year or so then begin to clamp down on fossil fuels.

darwin on December 8, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Erika, he wants the economy to fail. He’s a Marxist. His goal is a Marxist country. He wants to be the first to make Marxism work.

Trying to make sense of what he does by any other interpretive paradigm will not work.

davidk on December 8, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Correct. Read “Rules for Radicals”. BHO is following Alinsky’s principles…

old school on December 8, 2012 at 2:57 PM

…the vast majority of energy-producing states tilt strongly to the GOP.

Hold the Blue states hostage. Refuse to export fuel to them. Make them live the energy starvation and high prices they’re forcing on the rest of us. Make them live on their fantasy “green” sources.

Average Americans who’ve been seduced by Liberalism won’t stop voting for Democrats until they are forced to experience the fill Marxist Monty. Give Blue states everything their Democrat masters want.

Meanwhile, build a Red State barricade against our statist enemies. Yes, I regard Liberals as enemies.

Charlemagne on December 8, 2012 at 3:01 PM

On the one hand, it’s going to start getting real uncomfortable, real quick when his continued big-government policymaking somehow miraculously fails to whip the economy into shape, and the four years that for some reason weren’t enough to “get the job done” start to melt into eight.

Erika, he wants the economy to fail. He’s a Marxist. His goal is a Marxist country. He wants to be the first to make Marxism work.

Trying to make sense of what he does by any other interpretive paradigm will not work.

davidk on December 8, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Cloward-Piven and punishing the nation for it’s supposed past sins seems to be the only explanation for his behavior.

What he and his moronic minions don’t understand is that there will always be some nation at the top of the totem pole – and if it’s not US, it’ll be someone else. Someone else who does not value human life or human rights as we do.

As for the energy question – his behavior is a great predictor of his future actions.

Where I a betting woman – and I’m not – I would predict that he will find some envrio- whacko way of justifying the shutting down of those resources.

And he will be confident that his BS Media will pry their lips from his backside long enough to provide plenty of cover for this view.

And when the energy prices “necessarily skyrocket”…. well that’ll be someone else’s fault – as usual.

Galt2009 on December 8, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Of course The Jugeared Wonder will double down on his economy-killing schemes. He has zero interest in seeing America in full recovery mode.

hillbillyjim on December 8, 2012 at 3:21 PM

“Energy” and “boom” are racist dog whistles.

OxyCon on December 8, 2012 at 3:21 PM

It is important to understand the unreality this man inhabits. Today he is playing golf again. He simply does not grasp cause and effect. So he will allow those lunatics and simpletons he appointed to destroy industry. Obama has convinced himself that he is a genius and can figure out everything.He has no idea how much cover he has been given by the press, Reid and Pelosi. He is a Grandee moron.

pat on December 8, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Hold the Blue states hostage. Refuse to export fuel to them. Make them live the energy starvation and high prices they’re forcing on the rest of us. Make them live on their fantasy “green” sources.

Meanwhile, build a Red State barricade against our statist enemies. Yes, I regard Liberals as enemies.

Charlemagne on December 8, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Constitutional scholars, who are sideshow performers in our academic circus and mostly left wing, feel that states rights are a nightmare and the Tenth Amendment was “Frankenstein”. Until the tenth amendment undergoes a massive reanimation, your ideas are just pipe dreams.

You are close to the tool which could have derailed the pincer movement toward the left’s consolidation of power, however. That was the assertion of possible state enforcement of immigration laws and recalcitrance against other Washington programs.

As that is stopped, the pincer movement of fresh and reliable Democrat voters and growth of federal power will continue the march to socialism.

All the while, the capitalists will cut one another’s throats as big oil, the natural gas industry and others connected with carbon fuels keep playing a losing defense against the same forces.

The referees in the media can be relied upon to see that voters only understand a narrative which makes the continued investment in unicorn fuels possible. They have a huge bank of hatred of energy companies ready and waiting if they need it.

Things look bleak.

IlikedAUH2O on December 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Galt2009 on December 8, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Your thought is good, and I would be inclined to accept it except for his comments about fundamentally transforming America and the seemingly unabated drive to destroy the economy.

If he just wanted pay back, why kill the golden goose?

Also see: http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-08-20/major-general-why-are-domestic-government-agencies-purchashing-enough-lethal-

davidk on December 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM

a measure of how corrupt this country has become are stories like this. The Powers That Be are essentially a protection racket where the unconnected, unfavored, get the shaft

so just like Pharma LUVS barry.care, so Exxon Mobile LUVS the carbon tax

and this is why the R party is hopelessly irrelevant. You can not explain how radicals operate via a press that is radical itself. So most voters go thru life basically not knowing the basics of what is happening…mushroom management of the peasants.

While it’s known that politics makes strange bedfellows none can be more bizarre than former White House green jobs czar Van Jones and Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson agreeing on a carbon tax.

Coincidentally, just ten days after the presidential election, Van Jones co-authored a commentary, “To end the fiscal showdown, tax carbon,” and on the same day Bloomberg News wrote an article, “Carbon tax: Exxon backs Obama plan to impose climate change fees.”

In the latter story an Exxon spokesperson said, “Combined with further advances in energy efficiency and new technologies spurred by market innovation, a well-designed carbon tax could play a significant role in addressing the challenge of rising emissions.”

mass illiteracy is required for these ‘solutions’…CO2 emissions have been dropping, and are at 1990 levels in the US

http://nation.foxnews.com/van-jones/2012/12/08/van-jones-and-exxon-mobil-support-carbon-tax#ixzz2EUixrzKi

r keller on December 8, 2012 at 3:41 PM

But now, he’s [Obama's] going to have to start choosing: Strangle out hydrocarbon energies via regulation and pour more money into the green-energy black hole, or step back and allow the efficiency and innovation of the private sector to take it away?

Possibly a false alternative.

He can do the former, and still the latter may prevail to some degree in spite of the adversities, obstructions, and disincentives erected — we Americans being clever, creative, ambitious, persistent, and all that.

While attempting tyrannical control over and destruction of the economy (as Bill Clinton attempted to do with HillaryCare), could Obama actually end up benefiting by the end of his term from the coming energy boom?

Could it be that in the future Obama may (disgustingly) one day be looked back upon (falsely, but nostalgically) like Clinton has been by Leftists who trumpet and give him all the “credit” for a good overall economy by the time he leaves office?

NAHHHHHHHHH! Too late for that; even with all his administration’s myriad attempts to destroy virtually all aspects of the economy, ObamaCare alone will ensure that the job gets done — energy boom or not …

ShainS on December 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

It’s a matter of progressive dogma, to send as much of America’s wealth overseas to muslem hellholes and corrupt failed 3rd world states like Mexico.

To allow American wealth to remain in America, is anathema. We’re to be reduced to the same kind of 3rd world craphole our wealth is being exported to, and that cannot happen if we use our own energy.

Rebar on December 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Hold the Blue states hostage. Refuse to export fuel to them. Make them live the energy starvation and high prices they’re forcing on the rest of us. Make them live on their fantasy “green” sources.

You can go to Germany and see it in reality. However, last time I checked, the economy and wages in Germany was far superior to what you find in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and other hard core red states. So you may want to come with a better plan for shocking those people on the coasts.

Not that energy production isn’t important, but this country shouldn’t model its economy on Russia or Saudi Arabia. The US economy is driven by innovation and knowledge more than the extraction of raw materials from the ground. Over the long-term, knowledge economies such as South Korea and Japan will absolutely outperform Saudi Arabia.

But I don’t want to stop anyone from worshiping at the alter of energy production or promoting it as a source of employment in states like North Dakota and other states with significant energy reserves, especially when the workforce lacks the expertise to succeed in the innovation economy.

bayam on December 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Also see: http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-08-20/major-general-why-are-domestic-government-agencies-purchashing-enough-lethal-

davidk on December 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM

You have found a very alarming detail.

I am always amazed at conservatives who believe that our military and law enforcement would balk at repressive actions against us if they were led by someone on the left apparently damaging the nation.

The constitution? Our sworn federal enforcers worry most about their own jobs and power. You should have read about the panic and plans being considered in BATF and some other depts. when Reagan was elected.

It is a fact, however, that the left is very concerned about the right’s comfort with weapons and destructive techniques.

But they have ample federal employees and weaponry on hand for a massive crack down and genocide.

My greatest concern is why there has been so much buying of tools to kill Americans since 2008. Sadly, I think I know what is behind it.

IlikedAUH2O on December 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

If he just wanted pay back, why kill the golden goose?

Also see: http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-08-20/major-general-why-are-domestic-government-agencies-purchashing-enough-lethal-

davidk on December 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Perhaps he believes in the fantasy of wealth redistribution.

The national leadership of the socialist-left doesn’t buy into the idea that There’s a problem with the enormous debt hole were digging to the tune of 86 trillion.

They ‘think’ that they can just put the muzzle of a gun up against the head of the rich and take their money and all will well again.

Galt2009 on December 8, 2012 at 4:01 PM

This, folks, this is why 0bama’s not going to preside over an economy that recovers despite his policies. Bill Clinton’s prosperity came because there was a sweet spot in the 1990s when computer manufacturing, internet technology, and the World Wide Web came together and became affordable to middle-class people. These were not industries large parts of Clinton’s coalition were wanting to fight against, and their potential for profit was not reduced below the screw-it point by Clinton policies.

Urban greenies think a modern society can be run on solar panels and unicorn farts. This as the game-changing technology is in fossil-fuel extraction. 0bama will either betray the Greens or squelch the new technology below the screw-it point. And once he is gone, likely replaced by a Republican, that Republican can look like Ronald Reagan, just by cutting fossil fuel extraction free.

Sekhmet on December 8, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Heh. A liberal friend of mine told me two weeks ago that the out-migration of rich people would never happen in CA because it’s so darn beautiful here!

Even Oprah counts her days here to avoid being counted as a citizen of Taxifornia.

PattyJ on December 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

bayam on December 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

That’s the way things used to be – now ½ the country is worshipping at the alter of National Socialist with the Dear liar as their Vicar.

They have the insane fantasy that by just robbing a little more for a small segment of the population everything can be grand for all.

Galt2009 on December 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Someone is “worshiping at the altar” of foolish arrogance.

hillbillyjim on December 8, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Heh. A liberal friend of mine told me two weeks ago that the out-migration of rich people would never happen in CA because it’s so darn beautiful here!

Even Oprah counts her days here to avoid being counted as a citizen of Taxifornia.

PattyJ on December 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Looks like the left’s moronic minions were wrong again:

Despite Tax Increase, California State Revenues in Freefall
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/07/CALIFORNIA-STATE-BUDGET-GOES-OFF-THE-CLIFF

California State Controller John Chiang has announced that total state revenue for the month of November 2012 fell $806.8 million, or 10.8%, below budget.

Democrats thought they could hammer “the rich” by convincing voters to pass Proposition 30 to create the highest state income tax in the nation. But it now appears that high income earners have already “voted with their feet” by moving themselves and their businesses out of state, resulting in over $1 billion shortfall in corporate and income taxes last month and the beginning of a new financial crisis.

It’s truly amazing to behold that most of ideas of Marx defy logical sense, and yet millions of the gullible buy into them.

Galt2009 on December 8, 2012 at 4:08 PM

I been posting about this for over a year now, hoping Ed or Allah or someone at HA would get the hint and start paying attention to the Stealth War on Fracking that is going on in the upper midwest. Well, HuffPo just did:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/07/frac-sand-mining-wisconsin-health_n_2256753.html

Choke off the supply of frac sand and the industry dies, just like coal.

Hello? Hello?

Is anyone out there paying any f-ing attention?

Bruno Strozek on December 8, 2012 at 5:02 PM


r keller on December 8, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Your comment:

“…a measure of how corrupt this country has become are stories like this. The Powers That Be are essentially a protection racket where the unconnected, unfavored, get the shaft

so just like Pharma LUVS barry.care, so Exxon Mobile LUVS the carbon tax…”

My reply:

“How does a carbon tax benefit Exxon? Natural gas and coal race neck-and-neck when it comes to electricity generation in the United States. By increasing the cost to produce coal, natural gas becomes more attractive for utilities. This means a better bottom line for Exxon… and a fatter paycheck for its executives.”

That is the time honored American custom of shafting your competitors with the help of government.

The really interesting part, you missed.

Here is Van Jones up and running again. Gotta love that guy.

Has anyone called Beck?

And you can send Rex Tillerson and the coal industry your memo on how to overturn the last two general elections.

IlikedAUH2O on December 8, 2012 at 5:10 PM

The Energy Information Administration released part of their annual energy outlook this week, and despite all of the greenie gloom-and-doom naysayers, our energy future is dazzlingly bright.

Yeah, until Barry and company start screwing with it. The last thing Barry wants is CHEAP energy.

GarandFan on December 8, 2012 at 6:56 PM

We need to hurry up and invent transparent aluminum, and discover di-lithium crystals.

Then, all we have to worry about is Q and the Borg.

BobMbx on December 8, 2012 at 7:20 PM

bayam on December 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

…braying again!…eat your hay…and smoke your oats!

KOOLAID2 on December 8, 2012 at 7:23 PM

bayam on December 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Ah, Germany… the place opening up brandy-new coal and gas fired power plants because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun isn’t always at its peak for power year round once you get a good bit from the equator. Yes, Germany, the place that tried Green and found out it cost too much and now is going back to good old coal and natural gas.

If only Obama would fund that sort of stuff just like the Germans do, eh?

ajacksonian on December 8, 2012 at 8:01 PM

We may have an abundance of energy but we also have a very deep debt and if you think the price is going down think again. People are quitting smoking and the tax money is getting less and less, the DUI laws are very strict and the booze business is closing doors by the day and the tax money on booze is shrinking too, so whats a politician to do? Keep the energy prices high with tax. Here in NYS it’s about 20% per gallon on gasoline and that figures to about $.80 cents on a four dollar gallon of gas in tax alone. Do you think for a NY minute the DOE with 16,000 employees and a budget of 23.3 billion this year is going to go away? The DOE put in existence by Carter to get us off foreign oil hasn’t done their job for over thirty years and has become a federal entitlement agency that cost the taxpayer this year alone 23.3 billion. (Google…..List of government agencies …….for a shock treatment)

mixplix on December 9, 2012 at 4:56 AM

The US economy is driven by innovation and knowledge more than the extraction of raw materials from the ground.

bayam on December 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Considering that every single physical product ever made is done so with the “extraction of raw materials from the ground”, this is a statement of profound ignorance.

Eventually, you have to have an outlet for innovation and knowledge… unless you’re just an advocate for copyright lawyers…

dominigan on December 10, 2012 at 1:11 PM

bayam on December 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

LOL! I love how you pretend to understand something about innovation and knowledge, and how the US can use that to compete on a global basis, and then display such ignorance in understanding that cheap energy allows the MANUFACTURING base (which builds those wonders of innovation) to compete globally and keep jobs in the US.

But lets face it… liberals want jobs to go oversees, because that’s what they can use to gain more power here by winning elections. It’s all about power, not jobs or success! Once I understood that, I understood a lot about the liberal mindset! What I thought was cognitive dissonance was actually a well orchestrated song… cause the problem, then use the problem to seize power through elections! All liberal actions make sense then!

dominigan on December 10, 2012 at 1:18 PM